locked Southern Railway Bells


Will Kesler
 

As many of you probably already know this. Southern donated many many bells to people, churches, and schools and other places during the ending steam era and after that too. I know there are many left but I just can’t seem to find one for myself. I own a N&W K-2a 4-8-2 bell from #133. But finding a southern bell would be very nice and very special. I have seen two before at a school and a house in the area but neither are selling nor will they probably ever. Does anyone know where I could perhaps look?


George Eichelberger
 

You are welcome to go to the archives and look into the “Bells” box. It includes info of when and where bells were donated. I have always wondered if donated bells could be located and obtained?

Ike


On Jun 26, 2022, at 11:49 AM, Will Kesler <williamkesler354@...> wrote:

As many of you probably already know this. Southern donated many many bells to people, churches, and schools and other places during the ending steam era and after that too. I know there are many left but I just can’t seem to find one for myself. I own a N&W K-2a 4-8-2 bell from #133. But finding a southern bell would be very nice and very special. I have seen two before at a school and a house in the area but neither are selling nor will they probably ever. Does anyone know where I could perhaps look?


Will Kesler
 

Are you serious that’s awesome, I didn’t know they had a bell box??? I wouldn’t even expect something like that too exist. Since I live in North Carolina, I think I wouldn’t be able to get up there soon. Is the bell box able to be photographed so I can see what’s on there or is it mixed up with letters?


Carl Ardrey
 

The "bell box" is a Gaylord archive box containing all the correspondence between the various organizations requesting bells and the Southern.  It does not document the locomotive the bells came from.
CEA

On 06/26/2022 2:02 PM Will Kesler <williamkesler354@...> wrote:


Are you serious that’s awesome, I didn’t know they had a bell box??? I wouldn’t even expect something like that too exist. Since I live in North Carolina, I think I wouldn’t be able to get up there soon. Is the bell box able to be photographed so I can see what’s on there or is it mixed up with letters?


George Eichelberger
 

We call it the "bell box” as a place to keep everything on the subject together, the Southern did not use the term. It most certainly does not represent EVERY Southern steam locomotive bell, probably only the requests that went to headquarters in Washington, but it’s a clue that could lead to some number of churches or other buildings where they are now. Note that the bells do not (at least typically) have a locomotive number stamped or engraved on them. I expect it is not possible to know which engine a particular bell came from.

Carl Ardrey has looked through the box more than I, maybe he can estimate how many the file covers?

Ike

PS Like most everything else in the archives (documents, drawings and photos surely number in the hundreds of thousands) we need help sorting cataloging and scanning to allow items to be located and used. In addition to the 3rd and 4th Friday and Saturday of each month work session, the archives will be open at various times during the SRHA-L&NHS joint convention and RPM meet 9-30/10-1.



On Jun 26, 2022, at 3:02 PM, Will Kesler <williamkesler354@...> wrote:

Are you serious that’s awesome, I didn’t know they had a bell box??? I wouldn’t even expect something like that too exist. Since I live in North Carolina, I think I wouldn’t be able to get up there soon. Is the bell box able to be photographed so I can see what’s on there or is it mixed up with letters?


Will Kesler
 

Thank you for clarifying. There’s actually a bell at a school near me from a Southern Ks-1 #755 and there’s a house I’ve seen around with a southern bell mounted just in plain site. Hope it doesn’t get stolen but they weren’t selling as I remember.


George Eichelberger
 

If anyone has Southern items, such as bells, whistles, headlights station signs, etc., you might consider donating them to SRHA or TVRM to be used in the TVRM Exhibit building displays.  

At present, planning is mostly for the “brick and mortar” additions planned for the complex in addition to the existing 10,000 sq ft building. Those include an extension to the exhibit building, a new restroom “pod”, rolling stock display shed and turntable. (A roundhouse will follow.)

Individual inside and outside displays will be dedicated to the railroads of the Tennessee Valley, Pullman, express, mail and dining car services, car, diesel and steam loco components and models in several scales showing the development of rolling stock over the years. A feature will be Gen. J.D. Smith’s custom made, full HO size, Cumberland River bridge, approximately twelve feet from end to end. The bridge “kit” was constructed using Southern Railway plans provided to General Smith by Graham Claytor when they were both at the Pentagon.

If anyone would like to donate or assist, contact archives@... and we’ll make sure your information is forwarded.

Ike




On Jun 26, 2022, at 4:01 PM, Will Kesler <williamkesler354@...> wrote:

Thank you for clarifying. There’s actually a bell at a school near me from a Southern Ks-1 #755 and there’s a house I’ve seen around with a southern bell mounted just in plain site. Hope it doesn’t get stolen but they weren’t selling as I remember.


Will Kesler
 

Could you tell me more about this exhibit and what’s it meant for?


George Eichelberger
 

Will:

As you may be aware, TVRM is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. In my opinion (I’m not an officer, only a member, certainly not speaking for the museum) it is the finest operating railroad museum in the Southeast. Three years ago, an eight year old, 9,000 sq. ft. building just across Turntable Road from the Grand Junction property came available, TVRM with help from SRHA members, acquired it as an archives facility and TVRM support building. (I’ve attached a photo). Recently, the Louisville & Nashville Historical Society upgraded another part of the facility and moved their archives from Bolling Green, KY. The L&NHS archives will be dedicated during the SRHA-L&NHS joint convention 9-30/10-1.

Early last year another (approx 10,000 sq. ft.) building came on the market, also adjacent to the TVRM Grand Junction property. Again, with help from SRHA, members, TVRM purchased it. It contains first class offices, conference room, a kitchen and a (est.) 5,000 sq. ft. exhibit area, all with modern lighting and HVAC equipment.

That building will, for the first time in 60 years, provide TVRM with a permanent indoor, all year, railroad museum. The building will be doubled in size and a two track train shed will provide cover for multiple pieces of TVRM locomotives and rolling stock.

As must be obvious, this will be an expensive multi year project. I have no doubt TVRM will accept ideas and assistance of any kind. Many of the joint convention clinics and RPM display area will be in the exhibit building with activities also at the archives, headquarters and Grand Junction depot (not to mention the Shop at East Chattanooga and TVRM trains)!

Join us at the convention, 10-30/11-1, any SRHA archives work session or whenever you can get to Chattanooga.

Ike





On Jun 26, 2022, at 7:28 PM, Will Kesler <williamkesler354@...> wrote:

Could you tell me more about this exhibit and what’s it meant for?